If you’ve got a child starting at school in Kindy for the first time in 2021, you’ll be wanting to make their transition as easy as possible… for both you and them! These oh-so-simple but oh-so-brilliant tips for starting school from a local teacher Kath Boon will ensure you nail that big first day (and first year) of school! Here’s 10 tips on getting your child ready for school.
1. Buy school shoes with velcro (not laces)!
Unless your child is an expert at tying shoelaces (and most don’t master that skill for a few more years), velcro is the way to go! Yes, it might be annoying when the kids open and close the velcro seven thousand times a day (and they will) but that is less annoying than tying 20 pairs of shoes five times a day. And way less gross than tying the wet shoelaces of small boys after a bathroom visit!
Also buy good quality leather shoes, not the cheap ones. They’re in them every day, will last longer and support their little feet better.
2. Label everything
One of the best tips for starting school is to label everything. And by everything, I mean everything – uniform, socks, shoes, sports uniform, pencil case, school bag, hat, lunchbox and anything else you can think of! You can order some super cute personalised labels from companies like Stuck On You… or simply buy a laundry marker and hand write the names.
3. Pack meals separately
Crunch and Sip, Morning Tea and Lunch are usually kept separately in most classrooms (your teachers will let you know how your school works) so packing them separately means everyone is clear on what is for each meal. Many a child has cried about having no lunch until we realise they ate it all at morning tea.
4. Label lunch boxes on the outside
As the person who has to hand out 20 lunchboxes, not having to go searching for a name inside the cooler bag makes life easier… and gets them eating quicker.
5. Don’t ask the teacher for progress reports in the morning
Mornings are tricky, and not always the best time to have a long chat about your child’s progress with their teacher. There are queues for the photocopier, the principal, other teachers, the toilets (I’m yet to be in a school with more than 2-3 adult toilets for 40 staff who have short and specific times in which they can use them) and general preparation that needs to be done in that time before the bell. Make an appointment so your teacher can give you their undivided attention and be prepared.
6. Celebrate child birthdays with individual sweet treats
If you want to celebrate your child’s birthday with the class, take in cupcakes, Freddo Frogs or lollipops – something already divided into individual portions. Check with your school for new Covid-safe requirements and any allergies too.
7. Put something identifiable on the school bag
Another tip for starting school? If you’ve got the school bag, be sure to put something identifiable on both sides of your child’s bag so they can see it easily. A cheapish keychain or bag tag makes a big difference at packing and unpacking time. And don’t leave the bag on the side of the road as you drive away (or is that just me?).
8. Don’t buy cheap glue sticks!
Cheap glue just doesn’t work. Spend the extra dollar and get the better brand – like UHU or Elmer’s
9. Be nice to office staff!
Those ladies get stuff done.
10. Enjoy the experience of getting ready for school!
If you are excited and positive about school (even if you are a blubbering mess inside) your child will be too. Kindy is a fun and exciting time and the start of a big adventure for both of you!
Good luck to all the first timers (and those doing it for the last time too!)